Life is Beautiful: Cologne
RM Sotheby's
Online Auction: 15–21 September 2021 • 1:00 PM CEST • Cologne

Life is Beautiful: Cologne RM Sotheby's 15–21 September 2021 • 1:00 PM CEST • Cologne

S otheby's celebrates the very best of European craftsmanship through a sale series dedicated to celebrated makers across the luxury categories. We are pleased to announce this rare and collectable convertible BMW Z1 on view in our Life is Beautiful sale in Cologne.


Life is Beautiful: Cologne Highlights

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The 1989 BMW Z1

Estimate: 60,000 - 80,000 EUR

VIN: WBABA910X0AL01729

Rare and collectable convertible BMW with unique design features. Odometer reads only 191 kilometres at the time of cataloguing. Complete with tool kit and period BMW booklets.


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Responsible for some of the most stylish sports cars on the road, the BMW badge is famous for enabling fast fun behind the wheel without the supercar price tag. The most significant models to come from the marque have each played an important part in the evolution of the brand; from its early-20th Century roots to today, as a highly respected volume manufacturer spanning markets not limited to electric cars, performance-focussed sports models, all-conquering SUVs and more. The ‘Z’ series of cars by BMW instil a legacy of their own.

The Z1—made within a relatively limited production window between 1989 and 1991, allowing for only 8,000 examples to be made—would form the basis of BMW’s ‘Z’ model range, paving the way for the later, more widely available Z3 and Z4, also the performance-focussed Z8. The ‘Z’ stands for the German word, ‘zukunft’, or future in English. The car encapsulated the future at every point, designed by the Dutchman Harm Lagaay, who later moved to Porsche to design the Boxster, Cayenne, and other models. Prominently featuring BMW’s signature ‘kidney bean’ grille, the Z1 broke convention with removable panels made of thermoplastic, its sliding doors based around its barchetta shape and high profile that allowed space to stow the convertible roof.

While it did not sell in great volume at the time, the Z1 was ahead of its years and pioneered selected design features and technologies that broke ground. To this day, the unusual yet endearing features of the BMW Z1 make it a rare and collectable ‘modern classic’.

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